Nature is how your character really is and Demeanor is how he presents himself to others. Nature is the core of the character’s drives, desires, vices, and virtues. Demeanor is the mask of civility he wears in polite company.
Just as with the standard Virtue/Vice element, when a character acts in accordance with his Nature or Demeanor, he regains Willpower as a result. Specifically, if a character acts in accord with his Demeanor, he regains a single point of Willpower. If a character acts in accord with his Nature — and no one is the wiser to the real reason for his behavior — he regains all spent Willpower. A character may only regain Willpower from either his Nature or Demeanor once per scene.
Characters that are created using this element should choose one Vice from the standard list (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, starting on p. 103) then add one of the Archetypes listed below to it, forming a sort of composite of how and why that describes the Nature of the character. For Demeanor, select one Virtue (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, starting on p. 100) and add one of the Archetypes. Just like every other variation in the Virtue/Vice section, these are meant to be an exercise in character building. As you mix and match Archetypes with Virtues and Vices, think on how the end result will affect your character. Troupes with access to older World of Darkness books should feel free to use any Archetypes not listed here and, as always, we encourage you to come up with your own, unique, Archetypes.
Examples of Combinations
At this point you may find yourself saying, “Well, that’s great, but what does it all mean?” Below are a few examples of Archetype and Virtue/Vice mixes to get you started.
This combination produces a character that is in- trinsically selfish and greedy. He rebels against authority because he wants more for himself, but he keeps his methods and motivations a closely guarded secret. A lobbyist that theoretically promotes a majority view, but actually twists laws to serve himself or an elite few, is an example of this mix.
This combination produces a character that gives others the impression that her jokes and quips act to encourage others when the chips are down. The on- stage persona of a comedian entertaining the troops is an example of this mix.
This combination produces a character that might be described as “emo” in current parlance. His angst-driven envy of others pushes him to self-destructive acts. He may even entertain thoughts of suicide as a means of one-upping those he perceives as luckier than himself. (“They’ll be sorry when I’m gone!”). The man that cuts himself (high on the thigh, where no one will see) as he watches his neighbor washing a new car is an example of this mix.
This combination produces a character that takes her beliefs to the streets, parading them in front of others as the One True Way. She has no interest in listening to other points of view and will even contradict herself to win arguments against non-believers. The moral majority leader who preaches that female victims of rape are only victimized due to their own faults.
This combination produces a character that works to create a legacy of hatred. Not satisfied with venting his anger on a specific target, instead, he works to bring his rage to the masses. The general that carefully plans out a campaign that is meant to annihilate, rather than just defeat the enemy is an example of this mix. It won’t be obvious, but the devil is in the details.
This combination produces a character that is a party on two legs. She not only wants to have a good time herself, she insists that everyone share the good times with her. Especially that guy in the corner cubicle that hasn’t said a word to anyone in months. He sure looks like he could use some cheering up! The perpetually cheerful boss that keeps a bottle of whiskey in the top drawer and plans parties to which everyone is invited (and is obliged to show up for) is an example of this mix.
Analyst: Anything can be explained rationally, and you will explain it. Regain willpower when your rational/scientific method helps solve a major problem.
Architect (aka Maker and Builder): You desire to leave a legacy, tangible or intangible. This could be anything from an artistic masterpiece to a successful organization you founded to a new tradition you started.. Regain Willpower when you create something of great importance and/or lasting value.
Autocrat: You must be in control in all times of all situations. Regain Willpower when you maintain control during a situation and success is guaranteed.
Avant-Garde: You must be the first to know everything. Nothing is established, no gossip is spread without you having known it first. Regain Willpower when you make an exciting discovery regarding the society in which you’re involved.
Benefactor: You have a bounty of riches or some other resources which you feel compelled to share. Regain Willpower when you help someone by providing something no one else around you can.
Bravo: You have little tolerance for weakness, especially in yourself. You could be a proud warrior or a just plain bully. Regain Willpower when you intimidate or physically force someone to do what you want or back down.
Bureaucrat: You follow the rules no matter what. Regain Willpower when you solve a situation by the book, getting others around you to do so as well.
Caregiver: You desire to take care of others, ease their pain, and heal them. Regain Willpower whenever you successfully protect or nurture someone else.
Cavalier: You are the hero, the gallant defender of truth, justice, and all that is good. Regain Willpower when you accomplish a significant task for the better of the group (or the world as a whole, for that matter).
Competitor: There is no greater thrill than the thrill of victory, and you’ll do anything to feel it. Regain Willpower when you win a contest, formal or informal.
Confidant: You like and understand people and like to give advice-and you’re usually good at it too. Regain Willpower when someone confides in you on a personal level.
Conniver: You like to manipulate your way through the sticky bits of life, preferring to let some sucker do the dirty work for you. Regain Willpower whenever you trick someone into doing what you want.
Critic: Everything has a fault and you will find it. Regain Willpower when you point out a significant flaw in something that would have caused disaster if overlooked.
Curmudgeon: You’re irascible and cynical and vocally so. Joy and laughter? Bah, humbug! Regain Willpower when someone does something stupid, as you predicted.
Deviant: Whether it’s because of your ethics, beliefs, or general view of people and society, you just plain don’t fit in. Regain Willpower whenever you blatantly defy social codes without getting punished.
Director (aka Leader): You always know the best way to go about doing something, and it only makes sense that persons follow your lead. Regain Willpower when you are able to lead a group in accomplishing a significant task.
Explorer: The world is full of wonder, and you’ve got to see it all. Regain Willpower when you make a significant discovery, such as finding a special place or artifact, or making a profound insight about yourself or a friend.
Fanatic: You have a cause, or maybe the cause has you… You live, eat, breathe this cause (of course, if you pick this one, you have to define what that cause is). Regain Willpower when you accomplish something that furthers your cause.
Follower: You’re happy to help the leaders accomplish their goals, and stabilize the group with your support. Regain Willpower when your group accomplishes something due to your support.
Gallant: You are flamboyant as hell, and love to be the center of attention. Regain Willpower when you dazzle or impress another person.
Guardian: You have the strength, be it inner, physical, or both, to handle this hostile world, and desire to use that strength to protect the weaker folk around you. Regain Willpower when you successfully shield some worthy party from great harm.
Hedonist (aka Reveler): Live for today, ‘cause buddy, tomorrow may never happen. Regain Willpower when you have a rock-n-rollin’ time, or manage to fully express your enthusiasm for life.
Jester: You are the fool, the comic, the smartass, always looking for the humor in a situation. Regain Willpower when you lift someone’s spirits/ease their pain with your humor.
Judge (Mediator): You are an arbitrator and peacemaker, acting as a fair voice in conflictual situations. Regain Willpower when you separate truth from lies or successfully mediate a conflict.
Manipulator: People fascinate you, and you love to see the many ways they react to the situation you’ve so carefully set up for them. Regain Willpower when you gain some new insight about people from some “experiment” you’ve performed on them without their realizing it.
Martyr: You would rather suffer or even die than sacrifice your values or your friends’ needs. Regain Willpower when you do that.
Masochist: You’re always trying to see just how much more trauma you can take before you collapse. Regain Willpower when you make it through a new and interesting painful experience.
Monster: You are depraved, villainous scum. Regain Willpower when you manage to indulge in suffering that you’ve produced.
Optimist: You can always see that silver lining despite that icky dark cloud looming in front of it. Regain Willpower when your conviction that all will turn out for the best gets the group through-and it turns out you’re right!
Pedagogue: You are the ultimate teacher, living to pass on your knowledge so everyone might benefit from the wisdom of your experiences. Regain Willpower when someone really learns a great lesson from you.
Penitent: What ever it was you did, it was bad, and you devote all your energy to atoning for your sin. Regain Willpower when you perform a feat that significantly alleviates your guilt or is a step in achieving the goal that will make up for your crime.
Perfectionist: Everything you do, say, are… must be without flaw. Regain Willpower when you do something without a hint of mistake.
Plotter: Everything you do must be planned out to the last detail. Regain Willpower when you/the group accomplishes something by following your plan to the letter.
Poltroon: Running away may be cowardly, but you’re alive, aren’t you? Why deal with something potentially unpleasant and possibly fatal when you can just avoid it? Regain Willpower when you manage to escape a particularly nasty situation without having to deal with it at all.
Praise-Seeker: You absolutely crave the approval of your comrades. Regain Willpower when you are praised genuinely for a feat you accomplished by yourself.
Rebel: You will do as you will, and ultimately desire freedom from unpleasant societal bonds. Regain Willpower when your rebellion against authority or the status quo turns out for the best.
Renunciate: For some reason, you want to leave your past far, far behind you; though as hard as you try to forget it, the past will forever haunt you. Regain Willpower when you shake aside someone/something that reminds you of your past, and do so without consequences.
Rogue: Screw the world! You do what you need to look out for yourself and get done what has to get done. If someone else suffers in the process, that’s just too bad. Regain Willpower when your self-centered methods gain you something of significant value.
Sage: Knowledge is your treasure and your joy, and you enjoy both learning as well as teaching others your wisdom. Regain Willpower when you help someone through your vast knowledge or uncover an obscure piece of lore.
Sensualist: Sensation is your addiction, and you’ll do anything to experience a new one. Regain Willpower when you experience a new, exciting sensation and live to tell about it.
Show-Off: You need approval and praise and will do anything to get it. Regain Willpower when your antics earn you that praise you so crave.
Supplicant: Whatever you do, it is in the service of the Divine Being which you honor, fear, and/or love. Regain Willpower when you significantly advance the aims of your Benefactor.
Survivor: No matter what happens, you’ll pull through it somehow. You’re one tough cookie, and don’t understand it when others give up so easily. Regain Willpower when you survive a difficult situation by the skin of your teeth.
Theorist: The world around you is something to try and explain, and your theories drive your purpose for being. Regain Willpower when an observation based on your theory comes to pass. This has to be a well-thought-out, complex theory, not something that’s already blatantly obvious.
Thrillseeker: The stakes are just never high enough. More adrenaline, please! Regain Willpower every time you willingly enter a life-threatening situation and then escape it.
Traditionalist: Why change what’s worked for ages? You’re the ultimate conservative. Regain Willpower when your old-fashioned methods prove to be the best solution.
Trickster: Your antics do more than amuse; your pranks and tricks have a point of teaching someone a lesson, or humorously but deftly reveal some wisdom. Regain Willpower when your acts reveal wisdom that would not have been realized by more traditional means.
Visionary: You have the drive and imagination to keep aiming for the sky and beyond. Regain Willpower when you convince others to believe in your dreams and follow your vision.
Wanderer: Settling down just is not your thing-whether you’re running away from something or simply longing to see new places, the road is your home. Regain Willpower when you complete your purpose in one place and move on, leaving no loose ends or attachments behind.